Blayney Bears product Liam Henry and Orange CYMS gun Jack Cole will make their NRL debuts after being named in the Penrith Panthers' 17 for the final round of the 2022 regular season.
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The Panthers, this year's runaway minor premiers, have rested 12 players for the trip to North Queensland to take on the Cowboys on Saturday night.
On top of the absence of Nathan Cleary due to suspension, Apisai Koroisau, Brian To'o, Dylan Edwards, Isaah Yeo, Izack Tago, James Fisher-Harris, Jarome Luai, Moses Leota, Spencer Leniu, Stephen Crichton, Taylan May and Viliame Kikau have all been told to stay home and prepare for the finals, which begin on September 9.
Henry and Cole have both been picked on the bench. They join fellow Western Rams graduate Charlie Staines (fullback) in the Panthers' side to take on the Cowboys.
Henry has been playing lock in the Panthers' Knock-On Effect NSW Cup side and was a shining light through the middle of the field in a tough 24-all draw with Souths in round 23.
While Cole has been in the halves, and scored a try in that draw with Souths two weeks ago.
The team has qualified for the NSW Cup finals on the back of a 16-win season, in the middle of which Henry was rewarded with an upgrade to his contract.
The former Blayney Bear, who was due to become an NRL Development Player in 2023 before progressing to the NRL squad in 2024, has been upgraded to the Development list for the remainder of the 2022 campaign.
"With Liam having played his junior football at Blayney Bears ... (his) commitment to Panthers highlights the club's strong relationship with the western corridor and country rugby league," Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron said at the time.
While Cole was earlier picked in the NSW under 19s State of Origin side, which defeated Queensland at Leichhardt Oval.
The duo's promotion continues a long running production line from Western Division into Penrith's NRL side, with skipper Isaah Yeo headlining a list that also includes the likes of Matt Burton (Dubbo), Brent Naden (Wellington), Wayde Egan (Lithgow) and Staines (Forbes) to go from Rams to Panthers.
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